History Book Reviews

HOMO DEUS by Yuval Noah Harari
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A relentlessly fascinating book that is sure to become—and deserves to be—a bestseller."
In an intellectually provocative follow-up to Sapiens (2015), Harari (History/Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) looks to the future. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"The Robbins controversy featured arguments about alien rights, asylum, national identity, and the meaning and scope of American citizenship, all of which persist and all of which Ekirch handles with remarkable dexterity."
A historian revisits a little-remembered incident, the murderous 1797 mutiny aboard HMS Hermione, and traces its startling ramifications. Read full book review >

CONVERGENCE by Peter Watson
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Those who reject the idea of convergence outright may not get far in this book, but readers with no objection to a sweeping, entirely fascinating history of science during the last 200 years will find an abundance of enlightening material."
The journalist and polymath delivers a delightful exploration of "the deepest idea in the universe." Read full book review >
AGE OF ANGER by Pankaj Mishra
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"A probing, well-informed investigation of global unrest calling for 'truly transformative thinking' about humanity's future."
How the failures of capitalism have led to "fear, confusion, loneliness and loss"—and global anger. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"A lively and edifying narrative with lessons for today."
In her first book, Purnell gets our nerve endings tingling with an exploration of the interplay of mind and body as seen through the lens of the Enlightenment. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"An engrossing, haunting journey for bibliophiles and World War II historians."
An erudite exploration of the systematic plundering of libraries and book collections by Nazi invaders. Read full book review >
DEMOCRACY by David A. Moss
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Feb. 1, 2017

"A sterling educational tool that offers a fresh presentation of how 'democracy in America has always been a contact sport.'"
A vigorous civics lesson of 19 case studies that illustrate America's evolving democratic processes and institutions. Read full book review >
THE ALLURE OF BATTLE by Cathal J. Nolan
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 1, 2017

"A must-read for students of military history."
Why wars are won not in a single decisive battle but over the long haul. Read full book review >
THE TRUE FLAG by Stephen Kinzer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A tremendously elucidating book that should be required reading for civics courses."
A timely work on the vociferous sides taken over the Spanish-American War of 1898—and how that history relates to the ongoing debate regarding American imperialism. Read full book review >
THE BOOK THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Randall Fuller
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A fresh, invigorating history of philosophical and political struggles."
A vibrant history of the reception of Charles Darwin's ideas by American minds and spirits. Read full book review >
WHY? by Peter Hayes
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"'Beware the beginnings,' admonishes a German proverb. This noteworthy book is a chilling compendium of warning signs, past and present."
How could a civilized nation have brought a self-professed racist and xenophobe to power and then stood by as millions were murdered? It's not a mystery, according to this important overview of the Shoah. Read full book review >
WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL by John Avlon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A thoughtful consideration of Washington's wisdom that couldn't be timelier."
Why George Washington's last message proves apposite to our own time. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >